ACT Expands Solar Feed In Tariff Program

A dramatic expansion of its already world-standard solar feed-in tariff legislation is set to make the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Australia’s most solar energy friendly region.
Stage 2 of the ACT’s Electricity Feed-In Tariff Scheme builds on the existing scheme, which pays generators of renewable energy – such as households with a rooftop solar power system – a premium price for electricity fed back into the grid. It will include medium and large scale generation of renewable energy as well.
The increased feed-in tariff scheme plan would see:
– An overall scheme cap of 240 MW of generating capacity;
– Large scale generation category for generators larger than 200 KW (category cap of 210 MW);
– Medium scale generation category for generators between 30KW and 200kw (category cap of 15 MW); and,
– Existing micro generation category (household rooftop) up to 30KW (category cap of 15 MW).
State Environment Minister Simon Corbell said the expanded feed-in tariff will open the door to a boost in the construction of large scale solar farm projects in the ACT and allow for increased community investment in renewable energy.
“The expansion of the scheme will occur in two steps, with medium scale generation suitable for larger areas such as shopping centres, warehouses and large office buildings, to occur first through amendments to the existing Electricity Feed-In (Renewable Energy Premium) Act 2008,” Mr Corbell said. 
"The second step will involve the introduction of separate legislation for large scale generation with provision of premium payments to be allocated through an auction process."
Mr Corbell said a test auction of 40MW of capacity would initially be offered to assess interest in the process before the government would make a decision about any future auctions of large-scale feed-in rebates.
"The Government anticipates this auction will occur in the first half of 2011 and it will ensure that Canberrans get the highest possible level of renewable energy at the lowest possible price.”